Hump day. An overused term. I don’t think one Wednesday passed during my junior year of high school that someone didn’t proudly announce during homeroom, Hey, guys! It’s Hump Day! The highlights of an ever so stressful year. Wednesday – almost Thursday – then Friday. The pressures of college-hunting, sports, grades, and finding time to sleep were smothering us. Our only salvation was the brief joy of the weekend ahead. Friday’s final bell comes. A smile. Then it fades, realizing we would spend the majority of our time driving to another college, taking the tour, dozing during the information session.
I remember Wednesday, Uncle Fester because he’s in the song, and Cousin It, because people used to tell me I could look just like… it… if I wanted to. I never took it as a compliment, but I wasn’t particularly perturbed by the idea, either. My hair is the antithesis of Wednesday’s straight black locks. I’ve slowly learned to keep it under control — only usually — but I can feel it defying gravity, proclaiming joyful exuberance, sproinging from my head when there’s moisture in the air. Mine is a bit poofier than Cousin It’s. “Fuller bodied,” if you will.
My leotard fits like a wetsuit. The neck clamps onto my skin under my collarbones, and my thighs feel suppressed. Today Ellen wants me to hold a yellow scarf while crossing the room diagonally. She loves it when we are graceful. Maybe I could be graceful if my leotard did not feel like a vice. She wants all of the girls to look the same on Saturday. We are turquoise and shiny like spandex, but without the stretch of spandex. Our waists are crushed like tight denim jeans.
With no classes Wednesday afternoons, the entire school took to the fields, the athletes playing starring roles, the duffers, well, duffing. With so few girls enrolled at that time, we all made the team no matter our skill or interest. I even swam for a season on the boys’ JV, to the disgust of blue-blood rivals. It was all a bit awkward those first years. Late-spring Wednesdays, though, allowed an illusion of rightness when after lacrosse, we would leap from the big stone bridge into the river, reaching down, even we girls, to the prep-school-perfect past of Phinneas and Gene.
Wednesday – it might be the best day because it is the day before Thursday which is the day before Friday which is the first day of the weekend which is fun. Most Wednesdays I like to play video games, most recently Mario Galaxy. It is similar to the breakthrough Mario 64 in terms of maneuvers, but the boards are much more expansive – you travel to planets with different themes – and the wiimote is well adapted to the gameplay. I like doing triple jumps, and at the peak of the jump shaking the controller and pressing z – a killer body slam.
Wednesdays in high school were always the best weekday because we only had a half day of class. We had class until lunch time and then we had the afternoon off to attend athletic events. My favorite time was in the winter when I would have ski races. I would usually have three or four classes in the morning and then go to ski all afternoon. There was always a nervous excitement in the van to the slopes. I think I loved ski racing because it always scared me. A lot of the confidence I have now I gained from finishing all of those races.
How do you spell Wensdy? I know there are silent letters in Wedsday, maybe a couple of ‘d’s, but I don’t know where they go. That can’t be right. It sounds like I have a cold when I say it out loud, “WEDSDAY” or like maybe I’m from Southy, Boston. I am not. I spell whatever message my brain translates from my ears to my hand, but I am quite positive that Whensday is not right either! A tutor taught me to say the word in three parts: Wed. Ness. (I can’t think of another kind?) Day. Wednessday…oh no!